Google is addressing the issue of the sluggish rate of arrival of new versions of Android on devices via the Android Platform Development Kit or PDK. This is a set of tools that will be available to chipset vendors, hardware developers, and as per usual, software developers.
Among those likely on the list are Motorola, Asus, HTC, and Samsung. This will enable them to develop their devices on the Android Jelly Bean platform and accelerate the arrival of the OS upgrade. Furthermore, the PDK will be available for future upgrades to Android some two or three months before the update itself.
Last year, the Mountain View company’s solution was the Android Alliance project. In a nutshell, it encouraged carriers like Sprint, Verizon, AT&T, Vodafone, and T-Mobile, as well as manufacturers like Sony Ericsson, Motorola, Samsung, LG, and HTC to speed up the process of rolling out updates. Many long months, however, after the launching of Android Ice Cream Sandwich, a lot of users are still waiting for the upgrade to arrive, while some are unsure whether it will ever come.
The situation on Android is very different from that on the Windows Phone and the Apple iPhone which always get upgrades. The culprit, it appears, are the enhancements brought by the vendors, such as the custom UIs. Samsung, for instance, has TouchWiz, Motorola has MotoBlur, and HTC has Sense. In addition, carriers add their own software and other modifications. These factors have caused the delay in bringing Android Ice Cream Sandwich and other earlier versions of Android to smartphones.
Whether this initiative will work, however, should be seen in a few months. Hopefully, it will be a successful solution, especially after last year’s Android Alliance project did not materialize as planned. The carriers might interfere, though, which could hold up the process. Likewise, Google has to address the issue that bringing upgrades promptly to devices might discourage people to buy new handsets often since their old ones have all the new functionalities anyway.
via android police